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Factors Determining Conversion from Laparoscopic to Open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Background: Conversion from laparoscopic to open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) is expensive and time-consuming. Methods: Data from our first 1,000 laparoscopic RYGBP was entered into a database (Minnesota Database-Bariatric, Exemplo Medical). All patients met NIH criteria for bariatric surgery. Results: 41 (4.1%) of 1,000 consecutive lapRYGBPs were converted to open. Patients requiring conversion to open surgery, analyzed for predictors, revealed: 1) BMI, waist size, and weight all were significantly greater in patients converted to open bypass; 2) Gender: 9 of 109 males (8.3%) and 32 of 891 females (3.6%) were converted (Fischer's exact test, P=0.035); 3) Average age of patients converted was 44.9 compared to 41.3 in the lap group (P=0.02); 4) Conversion was required for 12 large livers (1 palpable preop, 7 had diabetes, 7 had NASH or steatosis); 5) 10 conversions for mechanical/technical reasons – 6 for inability to distend abdominal wall and/or manipulate instruments due to thickness of wall, and 2 due to loss of instruments in abdomen; 6) 9 required conversion for adhesions (2 from previous cholecystectomies with biliary leaks, and 1 from previous transverse colectomy; 7) 4 visceral injuries required conversion (2 stomach, 1 small bowel, 1 esophagus); 8) 3 hemorrhages from spleen with blood loss over 1300 ml required conversion (1 spleen removed, 6 minor not requiring open conversion); 9) 3 conversions were for anomaly/disease (1 malrotation of colon, 1 ovarian teratoma, and 1 intra-thoracic stomach). Conclusion: Steatohepatitis, diabetes mellitus, adhesions from various causes, previous bile leaks, large waist size, BMI, and weight are predictors for conversion to open surgery.

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Schwartz, M.L., Drew, R.L. & Chazin-Caldie, M. Factors Determining Conversion from Laparoscopic to Open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. OBES SURG 14, 1193–1197 (2004).

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